...DSL boss warns
NOVEMBER 14, 2014 Patrick J Kamara
National Coordinator of Democracy Sierra Leone (DSL) has told a news conference in Freetown that the Ebola Virus Disease is not a manmade disease, contrary to claims by ‘unscrupulous politicians’.
Alhaji Mohamed Warisay said the increase in new Ebola cases almost on a daily basis cannot be unconnected to beliefs of traditional and religious leaders who still practice unsafe medical burial rites and practices in communities, as well as alleged utterances by some politicians.
“Our traditional and religious leaders are still keeping their traditions of undertaking unsafe medical burials, especially in the northern parts of the country, and a good number of Sierra Leonean populace have been made to believe that Ebola is manmade. That is not true,” Warisay told newsmen.
Just recently, chairman of Western Rural District Council, Alhassan Cole, reportedly told a meeting attended by senior government officials, officials of World Health Organizations and United Nation International Children’s Fund that the Ebola scourge was a manmade disease.
His statement, however, did not please some youths in the Western Rural district, who wrote him an official letter demanding an explanation, Warisay said.
Although his statement was reported on Culture Radio FM 104.5, authorities in Freetown have paid no heed, he further noted.
Mr. Warisay called on the government to debunk such rumours in the strongest possible terms, suggesting that the conspiracy theory of an American complicity in deliberately triggering the outbreak would persist and undermine efforts to end the outbreak as well as strain relations between the two countries.
He also called on government to take tough action against those caught washing dead bodies and providing sanctuary to Ebola suspects.
The activist noted that DSL is working in five districts in the country and that they have trained 100 community volunteers, including teachers and new graduates, to sensitise communities, in a bid to break the chain of transmission.